Gong Hei Fat Choy! Besides the usual CNY Traditions like Spring Cleaning, Putting up Decorations and Open House, part of celebration is also playing a lot of Chinese New Year gambling games.
Makes sense since most of the popular gambling games right now like Mahjong, Sic Bo, and Keno all came from Ancient China.
Chinese New Year is celebrated up until the 15th day (Chap Goh Mei), so that leaves for lots of time to do practices and traditions like playing with family members.
We don’t want you to lose, so here’s a list of the 8 Fun Gambling Games Played During Chinese New Year!
8 Fun Gambling Games to Play this Chinese New Year 2020 with Friends and Family
Mahjong is one of the oldest gambling games in the world, and it originated from China. You’ll recognize it immediately ‘cos of its colorful tiles, which have different symbols in it that are, of course, part of the game.
It’s also worth noting that Mahjong is quite similar to the card game “Rummy“.
How to Play Mahjong?
- Can be Played with 4 Players, although there are variants with 3 Players
- Basic Mahjong Game has 144 tiles (36 characters, 36 bamboos, 36 circles [the suits] and more depending on the type of Mahjong game you’re playing)
- Game Mechanics: each player begins by getting 13 tiles. Players draw and throw away tiles until they complete a legal hand using the 14th tile drawn to form 4 melds (or sets) and a pair (eye).
- The main goal of the game is to get a “Mahjong”; that is to get 14 tiles into 4 sets and 1 pair
There are a lot more rules to Mahjong. And we don’t want you to lose to your friends, so go learn and practice online in legal, trusted online gambling platforms in Malaysia FOR FREE.
2. Chinese Poker
The Chinese have their own take on Poker called Chinese Poker. Like Texas Hold’em Poker, Chinese Poker uses the Poker Hand Rankings to determine who wins the game.
How to Play Chinese Poker?
- 4 Players each get 13 cards
- Each player must split the 13 cards into 3 Hands.
- 2 of the Hands will have 5 cards each, and 1 hand will only have 3 cards
- The players will compare their 3 hands to determine who has the highest ranking
Chinese Poker is always a fast competitive gambling game! Just make sure to memorize the Poker Hand Rankings so you know how to make the best hand with the cards you have:
3. 21 Blackjack or Ban Luck
Poker isn’t the only gambling game with a Chinese version. There’s also Ban Luck, the Chinese Blackjack.
Ban Luck is most probably the most played card game when visiting houses during Chinese New Year. Why? Well, because it’s simple to play, so anyone can try and play it!
How to Play Ban Luck?
- Dealer shuffles the cards
- Dealer will give two cards to each player (facing down) and then to himself. Blackjack can be played with as many players as you want!
Like Blackjack, Ban Luck’s goal is to get as close to 21 points as possible.
Learn about Blackjack Card Values:
2 to 9: face value
10, J, Q, K: 10 Points
A: 1 or 11
- Ban Luck Rules: each player must have at least 16 points to play
- Players with cards lower than 16 points will have to draw from the pile when it’s their turn
- If player or banker has 15 points in his first 2 cards, they can choose to Surrender.
- Special Card Combinations:
Ban Luck – ACE + K, Q, J or 10 (wins 2x the bet amount)
Ban Ban – ACE PAIR (wins 3x the bet amount)
7-7-7 – Triple Seven (wins 7x the bet amount)
Dragon – Gets 5 cards without going over 21 points (wins 2x the bet amount)
4. Si Se Pai
Si Se Pai or Si Ki Pi (SKP) is Chinese and means “four color cards“. This special gambling game uses special cards that come in 4 different colors: Green, White, Yellow, Red.
There are 7 Types of Cards:
There are 4 Cards for each color, which means there’s 28 cards per color.
How to Play Si Se Pai?
- The goal of Si Ki Pi is similar to Mahjong, wherein player needs to create a winning hand where every card belongs to a group.
Click here if you want to learn more about Si Sei Pai.
In-Between is a fast-paced game that’s high risk and high reward! It’s getting really popular lately, and you could say it’s because of how fun and easy it is to play.
How to Play In-Between?
- Players place their bets in a pool and are given 2 cards
- Players bet whether the next card they’ll get will have a value in between the values of the first 2 cards, and call the amount they’re betting.
- If the 3rd card is “in between” the first 2 cards, they’ll win the bet amount from the pool.
- If not, they’ll add to the pot based on the amount that they bet.
6. Ngau / Gnau or Ngao
Another fast-paced Chinese New Year gambling game is Ngau or Gnau which means “ox” and actually originated from Malaysia.
How to Play Ngau:
- Up to 10 players plus Dealer
- Dealer gives 5 cards to each person
- Player needs to have a “ox” or “passport”
- With their 5 cards, player needs to pick 3 that can be added to make a multiple of 10 (10, 20, 30)
Player’s cards is 7 + 3 + Q = 20, then you have an “ox” or “passport”
Now that you have 20 with your first 3 cards, you’re allowed to play
- Your remaining 2 cards show how powerful your amount is
- The highest amount you can get with your 2 cards added together is 10:
Example: if your 2 remaining cards is 8 and 5 = 13
The total card value in the game is 3 (rightmost digit of the combined number)
There are more game rules which you can look up if you really want to play this game. Or better yet, why don’t you just ask your mom or your aunt.
7. Ketam-Ketam or Yu Ha Hai (Crown & Anchor)
Ketam-Ketam or Yu Ha Hai (which translates to “Fish, Prawn, Crab”) is a Chinese board game that they say is based on pure luck.
How to Play Ketam-Ketam or Yu Ha Hai:
- The board has a picture of a Crab, Fish, Gourd, Moon, Chicken and a Prawn.
- Player needs to pick a side or a combination and then place their bets.
- Dealer rolls the three special dices that don’t have numbers but symbols of the Crab, Fish, Gourd and so on.
- If the three dices fall on any of your placed bets, you win!
8. Chor Dai Di (Big 2)
And last but not the least, Chor Dai Di or Big 2 is another variation of Chinese Poker that’s fun to play with friends and family during Chinese New Year 2020!
How to Play Chor Dai Di (Big 2):
- Up to 4 players
- Each player gets 13 cards and take turns to put down their cards according to who has the highest ranking
- Player with 3 of Diamonds card is the first to put down their card
- The highest card value is 2 (Spades), hence the name “Big 2”
Players can put down their cards in a number of ways:
- Singles (just 1 card)
- Pair (two cards with the same value)
- Triplets (three cards of matching values)
- A Hand (5 cards whose rankings are according to Poker Hand rankings)
Big 2 Card Values:
Highest is 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 (lowest)
Highest value in terms of suits is Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds (lowest)
Now you know all the Chinese New Year gambling games you may be playing with friends and family! Better practice while you can so you don’t lose any money!
Give this article a share if you want to know which games to play this Chinese New Year 2020!